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WNC Nature Center, Asheville

(550+ reviews on the web)
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
Home to wildlife from southern Appalachia, WNC Nature Center began as a city zoo, but its important work with local conservation caused it to morph into a nature center. The densely forested Appalachian Mountains hide an array of creatures from red wolves to colorful birds, and this center showcases more than 60 animal species. Wander through the natural habitat and discover small mammals, otters, and predators. Explore the natural environment on the Swannanoa River along a nature trail. Vending machines provide some snacks and beverages, and you can bring your own food to enjoy on the picnic tables. To visit WNC Nature Center and other attractions in Asheville, use our Asheville holiday planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A group of 9 of us ranging in age from 3-70 visited most of the morning. Everyone enjoyed the scenery, exercise and animals. In addition, the youngest participated in special play areas giving older o...  more »
  • We took our toddler grandson to this very good nature center on an afternoon during the week. There were lots of small children there enjoying the nature center while we were there. It's surprising ho...  more »
  • We wanted a fun day trip with our two grandchildren, ages 6 & 8. We decided from the reviews that this was the place! So many positives about this park! First, very clean, well kept and easy walking a...  more »
Google
  • Well organized routes through various animal habitats, reptile building, etc., that have informational displays throughout. Very family friendly with several educational/play areas that are themed to match the different animal areas nearby. My three young nephews visiting from out of town loved it. The map is also very well done. Parking was a challenge when we went due to the large number of people who were there the day we went (middle of the week) but I think it was spring break week for the local kiddos.
  • The Nature Center offers great educational resources to help the public better understand wild animals who share our environment. There are plenty of programs and pathways through the park that are particularly great for kids to explore. The animals have den access a lot of the time so they don't get overwhelmed or neurotic. My only complaint is the entryway suffers from a lot of congestion with customers waiting in line; they'd be well-served with more staff able to check people in.
  • Went on my Honeymoon, so obviously really enjoyable. It was kind of cold out but other than that, definitely 5 stars. All enclosures were great sizes, bigger animals (like bears, cougars, bob cats and deer) got the perfect size cages. Better than any zoo I've seen. Lots of hands on with children, awesome prices and is even great for just adults. We enjoyed it. It is really only 1-2 hours of enjoyment but definitely worth the money. Would do again!!
  • Cute wildlife center. Saw 90% of all the animals, it was cold so some were sleeping. The 2 otters were really cool. The petting area had some goats and donkeys. Not super expensive and a good time killer. You can walk the grounds in about an hour - hour and half. Great for kids. 1.5 miles off of 40.
  • Very positive experience. I really liked their focus on indigenous creatures. A nice variety of small and large animals such as bear, coyote, wolves, foxes and birds. Numerous play area to distract the children for a moment. Buy an annual membership for an even better deal.